Visible Enemies & Escape

Frostorm

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I was wondering how people handle Escape mechanics when using Visible (on-map) Enemies. It just feels strange to me that the enemies just "disappear" after you flee, despite still standing at the same place from when you entered combat. I personally disabled Escape completely. I'd love to hear what others have done instead.
 

Ahuramazda

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Try making a 2nd page that triggers when you escape a battle and have the sprite appear at like 50% opacity and stop moving/chasing for 5-10 seconds before they can revert back to page 1 and try initialing battle/chasing again?

Make the event only disappear if you actually win the battle.

That is how I would handle on-map encounters. :D
 

SGHarlekin

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I usually disable escape in my games, especially with on map encounters because those are easily avoidable in my games.

You can totally make the event be knocked back or stunned or whatever when escaping battle. You totally don't need to have it disappear.
 

Frostorm

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I usually disable escape in my games, especially with on map encounters because those are easily avoidable in my games.
Same here.

Do you guys think players would find it annoying that I disabled Escape completely? If players can already run circles around enemies, it shouldn't be a big deal, right?

Edit: what if each event on the map represents a single enemy instead of an entire troop? That's how I do it anyway since that just makes more sense when ur fighting on the map you're exploring.
 
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SGHarlekin

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Same here.

Do you guys think players would find it annoying that I disabled Escape completely? If players can already run circles around enemies, it shouldn't be a big deal, right?

Edit: what if each event on the map represents a single enemy instead of an entire troop? That's how I do it anyway since that just makes more sense when ur fighting on the map you're exploring.
I regularly get the "why can't I escape" question. But at the end of the day, it's a gameplay mechanic like any other. You know you can't run. Prepare accordingly. Now if you have like 5 enemies per 15 steps, I would understand.
It's a mechanic that needs to be balanced like any other.
 

TheAM-Dol

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Do you guys think players would find it annoying that I disabled Escape completely?
Yes.
If I am understanding your battle mechanic, you are talking about wandering enemies on the map, and when the player collides with them it triggers a scene switch to your typical RPG battle screen, right?

It depends on how you game is designed. If players will never ever have to backtrack through a previously explored area, having escape disabled will be a minor annoyance to some, but I would call it a "tolerable annoyance" if you ever, even once, require players to have to backtrack through previously explored areas, this "tolerable annoyance" will easily become "unforgivably annoying". While having enemies on the map may seem easy to avoid, there are times maybe the player doesn't notice a rock or impassable object and gets cornered by the enemy, or they just get caught off guard maybe because they were day dreaming or the enemy sprite blended in with the background. But assuming the player will ALWAYS know to avoid the enemy if they aren't interested in fighting is poor reasoning. I would allow players to escape from battle.

As for the original question:
The way I handle it is not the most elegant, but gets the job done. I have a "default" position for enemies. If the player runs from the fight, the enemy is reset to their default position on the map (which usually isn't far away from where the player is), and their "AI" is turned off for a few seconds to allow the player to escape. Oh, and I use a custom emote bubble to indicate when the enemy is pursuing the player or when they are just wondering. The flaw with this method is that there is a small chance the player may have triggered the fight while standing at that default spawn position, so if the player runs from the fight, the enemy will spawn on top of them. Since the AI is turned off after running, it will just look like a visual bug, but shouldn't impede the player. It's only a small chance of this happening as the player first: needs to be standing on the spawn location (which I make sure that location is out of the way, usually on the fringe of the enemies patrol region) and second: the player needs to run from the fight. Because of both of these requirements in order to make the enemy sprite spawn on the player, the chances are slim so I am okay with it.
 

Frostorm

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I'm personally one of those players that never uses escape. I always kill every enemy I encounter, but that's just me. I know there are players who avoid as many encounters as possible though.

If I am understanding your battle mechanic, you are talking about wandering enemies on the map, and when the player collides with them it triggers a scene switch to your typical RPG battle screen, right?
What if starting combat DOESN'T involve a scene change? It basically just causes the battle UI to show and engages combat mechanics. I know that's only the case w/ my project since it's a tactical RPG. I just thought it would be weird if the player uses escape, only to find the enemy still standing next to them lol.

Having enemies return to their spawn point may not be a bad idea actually. It's a bit immersion breaking, but not terribly so.
 
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FrigidGaze

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Do you guys think players would find it annoying that I disabled Escape completely? If players can already run circles around enemies, it shouldn't be a big deal, right?
I think this depends on several factors!

Do enemies respawn when you leave and re-enter the map--or are they gone for good? As it may prove frustrating for players looking to go back somewhere and accidentally bump into an enemy again and be forced to go through the motions. Some may want to avoid over-grinding and becoming too powerful for any given place and only fighting the enemies thrown their way a first time around. That's how I play, haha.

Otherwise, if the enemies are slow enough and there's enough space to maneuver around them, I suppose it can work out okay. Honestly, it comes down to player preference at a certain point I think.
 

TheAM-Dol

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What if starting combat DOESN'T involve a scene change?
That's why I brought it up :LZSsmile:
In that case, screen wipes are a common short-hand for "time has passed", so I would create a quick screen wipe as a transition out of combat. You can use the screen wipe to hide the enemy being moved back to the default position.
The way I create my screen wipes is just create a large black png (bonus points for adding a little bit of style: "tear" the edges, feather the edges, or tilt the edges). Do a "show picture", assign your black image outside the bounds of the screen, then use the move picture command to move the wipe to cover the whole screen. While the whole screen is covered, you can then do what you need to do (such as setting the enemy to a default location), then use move image again and have the wipe continue to wipe across the screen. Describing takes longer than it actually happens. I think my whole screen wipe takes 30 frames to complete, so it hardly slows down the player, and maybe you can consider the short slow down on the player as "punishment" for not fighting or being more aware of their surroundings.

edit:
Shower thought:

Reframe it. Using the above mentioned transition effect to represent time passing, don't call it "run". Call it "auto-resolve".
In this case, you would not set the enemy to a default location but instead just erase them as if they had won the battle. By auto-resolving you could make it so that the player loses a certain amount of health, such as 25% or 30%, gain marginal exp and gold (maybe like 1/10th the normal amount if they did the battle on their own). So long as players don't automatically restore to full health between each battle, this effectively makes running have pseudo "ammunition" pool, where that ammunition comes from your remaining health. If the player doesn't have enough health, then they can't auto-resolve, and so they need to make a choice if the cost to their health is worth auto-resolving.
I kind of like this idea and may potentially implement it into my own game...
Just be sure to include a tutorial box to explain to the player the cost of auto-resolving: why they might want to auto-resolve and why they might not want to auto-resolve.

1 more edit:
On the note of auto-resolve, you could also make auto-resolve require an item. If it's a tactics game, I can imagine something like the "Commander's Banner" or whatever. These items would be consumable. If the player has some in their inventory, they can auto-resolve. If they don't have any in their inventory, they cannot auto-resolve.
 
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Frostorm

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Alternatively, "Escape" needn't be a menu command. What if the only way to escape is to have all your units (or maybe just the party leader) move to the edge of the map, basically inducing a map change? Might feel clunky now that I think about. Would probably be quite tedious actually, especially if the map is large...

Do enemies respawn when you leave and re-enter the map--or are they gone for good?
Regarding respawns, I currently have it so that enemies respawn after leaving and reentering the map. But I do intend on changing that so they only respawn after leaving and reentering the dungeon.
 
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Hungry Moogle

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Back when I was playing around with RPG Maker MV, I had it so that when the player ran away from a battle, the enemy would be left in a 'stunned' state. This state would leave the enemy unable to move for a couple of seconds in order to give the player time to put as much distance between themselves and the enemy. I also added a sprite-flickering effect to the enemy so that the player could visually tell that the enemy is in the 'stunned' state. I'd share my setup but I haven't been able to access RPG Maker MV for a couple of years now, so yeah:aswt:.

As for disabling escaping from battle, personally, I'm not a fan. I just think that when things are going really badly for the player in a battle with no chance of victory, that leaving them with no option of escaping is kind of a dick move. This is especially true if the player hasn't been able to save their game in a while, and I think that a lot of players are going to be mad and may end up rage quitting your game if they end up losing hours of gameplay because they couldn't escape a battle. It's one thing with boss fights as they're typically located near a save point, so players will only lose a couple of minutes of gameplay time if they lose.
 
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FrigidGaze

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Regarding respawns, I currently have it so that enemies respawn after leaving and reentering the map. But I do intend on changing that so they only respawn after leaving and reentering the dungeon.
Ahh, that seems like a good compromise to me, since it still offers flexibility in being able to navigate around areas freely, but then adds in the factor of making you decide whether you want to retreat and heal/restock or push on a little more to keep enemies from respawning again.
 

lianderson

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I just make enemy sprites move away from the player with a confused symbol.
 

Kes

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My Escape isn't a menu command but a skill (which 3 actors have and 2 don't, for story reasons) costing a small amount of TP or MP. The skill calls a common event which has a conditional of a particular switch and uses the Abort Battle event command. I have to use a common event as I've disabled the escape command completely so that I can use a skill.

On a second event page, it causes the enemy to 'ghost', with Through turned ON so that it cannot re-engage the party. It moves away for 3 tiles (with 'Skip' just in case it can't move). After 3 seconds it reverts to page one, sprite back to normal and Through OFF.

The skill is disabled for boss fights by turning the switch in the common event ON, so preventing the Abort command from running.
 

RCXGaming

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Due to how I've integrated a semi-stealth system into my overworld encounters, there's quite a few layers in how escape is handled:
  • In general when you run away from enemies, there is an invisible parallel processing buffer that stops every enemy NPC on the map from moving for a precious few wait frames. It prevents them from mobbing you once you escape, especially if you're cornered.
  • Once you run away, the enemy will stand there for a bit (maybe change opacity a bit or flash) and then chase after you.
  • If you touch an enemy from behind but they are unaware of your existence, running away turn 1 will not alert them.
  • Enemies have borders on the map they can't cross, so you are safe from them there.
  • I have a universal variable designated for enemy respawn that turns off the "death" page of all applicable monsters if it gets too high. It's attached to doors you exit through, so the only way you can increase it is by passing through a fair amount of doors.
    • For example: Let's say you're in a set of rooms that you don't want the enemies to respawn for convenience reasons. I can set it so the doors don't increase the variable for those rooms.

Theoallen before he left brought an escape script he made to my attention. It allows me to customize the functionality of the "escape" command by tying its use to ruby arguments like using a variable, switch or turn count.

This gives me far more leeway to have escape be useful in, say, fights with extremely dangerous bosses or overworld enemies that trap you. In the former, dealing enough damage will allow you to flee from certain doom. In the latter, what if waiting around for a few turns allows you to run away?

It's far more dynamic than just disabling the escape button outright.
 

RCXGaming

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TheAM-Dol

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What a simple yet effective idea?
I'm surprised you aren't already using that.
Yes, there is a Yanfly plugin (part of the free package) for region restrictions. I don't recall the exact name of the plugin, but it's something like Yep_RegionRestriction or tile block or whatever. It's a really handy tool for many different reasons, not just enemy borders.
 

KawaiiKid

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I personally never allow escape in my games. If the amount of encounters you have are balanced, or have on screen enemies that you can physically dodge, I don't see the need for it. It adds a sense of thrill to a game, knowing that you must be prepared for where you are going.

Again this must be balanced. So if you are going into old areas at level 30 and there are still level 5 mobs around, then you need to disable them, or for visible mobs make it so they don't agro, or it's just bad game design.
 

Frostorm

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Yeah, didn't you catch the thread where he said he was leaving from game development?
I have now...bummer. That's life though, I guess.

I'm surprised you aren't already using that.
Turns out I already had it w/o realizing it, rofl. This is what happens when you have 150+ plugins with another 100+ more sitting around in an unused folder....

Again this must be balanced. So if you are going into old areas at level 30 and there are still level 5 mobs around, then you need to disable them, or for visible mobs make it so they don't agro, or it's just bad game design.
I like to make it so that if you are significantly higher in level, the enemies will run away from you in fear instead of chase you. :p
 

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